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Economics of Social Capital

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  • PARTHA DASGUPTA
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    Abstract

    The literature on the idea of 'social capital' is now enormous. Offering an alternative to impersonal markets and coercive states, the communitarian institutions built around social capital have looked attractive to scholars in the humanities and social sciences. The literature in consequence has a warm glow to it. In this article, I first study the various contexts in which the promises people make to one another are credible and then suggest that the accumulation of social capital is a possible route to creating such a context. I offer a tight definition of social capital - namely, interpersonal networks - so as not to prejudge its ability to enhance human well-being. The links between the microfoundations of social capital and the macroeconomic performance of economies are then studied. I also show that economic theory not only identifies circumstances in which communitarian institutions can function well, but that it also uncovers a dark side, namely, their capicity to permit one group to exploit another within long-term relationships. Copyright 2005 The Economic Society Of Australia.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by The Economic Society of Australia in its journal The Economic Record.

    Volume (Year): 81 (2005)
    Issue (Month): s1 (08)
    Pages: S2-S21

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:81:y:2005:i:s1:p:s2-s21

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    Cited by:
    1. Ambrose Leung & Cheryl Kier & Tak Fung & Linda Fung & Robert Sproule, 2011. "Searching for Happiness: The Importance of Social Capital," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 443-462, June.
    2. Agurto Adrianzén, Marcos, 2014. "Social Capital and Improved Stoves Usage Decisions in the Northern Peruvian Andes," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 1-17.
    3. Gilles, R.P. & Lazarova, E.A. & Ruys, P.H.M., 2006. "Stability, Specialization and Social Recognition," Discussion Paper 2006-17, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Dufhues, Thomas & Buchenrieder, Gertrud & Munkung, Nuchanata, 2012. "Individual social capital and access to formal credit in Thailand," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 123401, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Prasopchoke Mongsawad, 2010. "The Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy: a contribution to the theory of development," Asia Pacific Trade and Investment Review, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 17(1), pages 123-143, June.
    6. David, Antonio C. & Li, Carmen A., 2008. "Exploring the links between HIV/AIDS, social capital, and development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4679, The World Bank.
    7. Enid Katungi & Svetlana Edmeades & Melinda Smale, 2008. "Gender, social capital and information exchange in rural Uganda," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 35-52.
    8. Gilles, R.P. & Lazarova, E.A. & Ruys, P.H.M., 2011. "Economic Institutions and Stability: A Network Approach," Discussion Paper 2011-084, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Giorgio D'Agostino & Margherita Scarlato, 2011. "Innovation, Growth and Quality of Life: a Theoretical Model and an Estimate for the Italian Regions," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0138, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    10. Saint-Macary, Camille, 2012. "Are Ethnically Diverse Communities “Bad” Communities? An Empirical Study on Social Capital Formation in Northern Vietnam," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/11437, Paris Dauphine University.
    11. Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Reputation, Group Structure and Social Tensions," HiCN Working Papers 40, Households in Conflict Network.
    12. Paul Manning, 2010. "Putnam and radical socio-economic theory," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 254-269, March.
    13. Agurto Adrianzen, Marcos, 2009. "The Role of Social Capital in the Adoption of Firewood Efficient Stoves in the Northern Peruvian Andes," MPRA Paper 15918, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2006. "Preferences, Poverty and Politics: Experimental and Survey Data from Vietnam," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000054, UCLA Department of Economics.
    15. Neri, Frank & Ville, Simon, 2006. "The Social Capital Experience of International Students in Australia: The Wollongong Experience," Economics Working Papers wp06-19, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    16. Neri, Frank & Ville, Simon, 2008. "Social capital renewal and the academic performance of international students in Australia," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1515-1538, August.
    17. Thierry Debrand & Nicolas Sirven, 2008. "Promoting Social Participation for Healthy Ageing - A Counterfactual Analysis from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)," Working Papers DT7, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Jan 2008.
    18. Diego Caramuta, 2005. "A Dynamic Approach to the Relationship between Inequality, Social Capital and Institutions," Development and Comp Systems 0506009, EconWPA.

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